Krauthammer sees Christie’s exclusion from CPAC as a mistake:
Frum is in the same ballpark:
If the Republican party contained a self-conscious modern Republican wing, with its own organizational presence equivalent to CPAC, then it would matter less that CPAC excluded the party’s most viable candidates. As is, however, CPAC remains the only such show in town – and Christie’s exclusion sounds an ominous warning about obstacles on the route back to a Republican majority.
Larison explains why Republican pundits talked up Christie in the first place:
As movement conservatives start to sour on Christie, it might be instructive to recall what it was about him that many of them liked from 2009 through last year. For the most part, it wasn’t the content of his agenda, in which most of his admirers had little interest. It was Christie’s willingness to be combative and confrontational that won their admiration. When this was all that most movement conservatives knew about him, Christie’s future in the party seemed very bright, and his name was frequently listed along with such movement conservative heroes as Rubio and Ryan.
Silver looks at why movement conservatives have fallen out of love with Christie:
Mr. Christie was in good graces of CPAC as recently as last June, when he was the headliner at a regional conference the group sponsored in Chicago. So what has changed? Is it Mr. Christie, or is it CPAC? In fact, I’m not sure that either has. Instead, what seems to have changed is the salience of different issues, as driven by major news events over the past year.
And Allahpundit wonders if Christie will move right after reelection:
[W]ith the possible exception of Rand Paul, he’ll be the most interesting Republican to watch for the next year or two. Does he tack back to the right after his reelection to try to atone with conservatives? Or does he actually inch a bit further to the center by partnering with Bloomy on guns, or “evolving” on gay marriage, or maybe pushing reform on marijuana laws to try to get the attention of younger Republicans? He’s got to pick a brand before other people pick it for him.